February 2010 Issue
Package deals offer planning tools for romantics in a rush.
Time is money, and if you’re like most people, right now you’re looking for ways to save both. Which is why innkeepers and hosts at many of the state’s favorite getaway spots are offering special package deals for guests who want to plan a weekend away in a hurry.
Here, we offer a sampling of the ready-made romantic retreats available this month.
White Oak Inn Bed & Breakfast
Seventeen years as an innkeeper has taught White Oak Inn owner Yvonne Martin to anticipate her guests’ needs, often before they’re even aware of them. So it’s no surprise that, whether you’re looking for a romantic, educational or silly getaway, Martin has you covered.
“I think people are much more married to their jobs than they used to be,” says Martin. “A lot of our guests are not sure if they can get away until the last minute, so they make up for having less time by opting for all-inclusive packages and luxury amenities.”
This bodes well for travelers — both planners and last-minute types — who want a mini adventure tucked inside a quiet country retreat. Located in Danville, about 20 minutes northeast of Mount Vernon, the inn, which includes a main house, guest house and two cottages, is surrounded by 14 acres of peaceful countryside; the kind of place where sitting and watching the deer walk by takes the place of television, and limitless firewood means you’re never more than a match strike away from a crackling fire in your room.
For valentines, there is a traditional romance package with roses, a bottle of sparkling cider, red silk rose petals scattered on the bed and a box of fine chocolates on the pillow, or make it a table for two and have the four-course romantic dinner basket delivered to your cottage. Guests can also build their own romantic weekend from the inn’s a la carte selections, ranging from a single rose waiting in your room to in-room massages.
Of course, your funny valentine might be interested in the monthly murder mystery weekend package (the next one begins Feb. 27).
“They’re just silly fun, which for some people is romantic,” says Martin. Everyone comes dressed as a character — you get the details ahead of time — and plays along as the plot unfolds. “People really get into it; some even bring props and create business cards with their character’s name and vocation,” she laughs. “It’s amazing how creative people can be.”
While packages like these can fill a weekend for those who want to stay in, if you and your beau want to get out, Amish Country, a handful of wineries and other sights are just a short drive away.
❧ 29683 Walhonding Rd. (St. Rte. 715), Danville, 740/599-6107. whiteoakinn.com. Rates begin at $120 night.
Victorian Village Guesthouse
Given the headlines of the past year, you might think news from the bank bailout is anything but romantic. Except that without the industry turmoil, corporate banker Lisa Morton might not have turned her attention to full-time innkeeping. And without that, finding a charming, secluded getaway in the heart of the capital city might not be this easy.
We suspect that Morton is doing a lot more to lift her customers’ spirits in her new vocation. Her property, the Victorian Village Guesthouse, sits behind her own fully restored Victorian home, across a well-tended lawn bordered by tidy redbrick patios and vigorous gardens.
The quaint carriage house — which houses a three-car garage on the first level and the guesthouse upstairs — is just a few years old, added on by Lisa and her husband Jeff after they bought the property in 2004.
The 950-square-foot space is yours entirely for the weekend, which means complete privacy if that’s what you prefer. Morton says she designed the space with potential guests in mind, decorating with a combination of antiques and mini luxuries such as down pillows (hypoallergenic ones are in the closet if you need them), extra toiletries, spa bath amenities from Paris and complimentary welcome cookies from one of the city’s most venerable bakeries, Pistacia Vera.
Like Morton’s, most of the homes in Victorian Village were built in the 19th century, making the walkable neighborhood that surrounds the guesthouse one of its biggest attributes. The space has a full kitchen stocked with juice, water, coffee and other basics. If guests don’t want to cook, corner coffee shops and the extensive restaurant, art and shopping scene of the city’s Short North district are just a few blocks away.
For guests of the Victorian Village Guesthouse, the health and wellness services offered by nearby Inner Connections go well beyond your standard massage package. For couples, Inner Connections owner Suzi Wilkoff recommends the Couples Connect package ($280), a two-hour session that teaches duos the basics of relaxation and touch therapy.
“I start off by teaching them to ‘dump the junk,’ ” says Wilkoff, which, she explains, includes breath work and mind clearing. Couples also learn the basics of massage and bodywork.
“It sets a tone for the weekend,” says Wilkoff, “and couples can take what they learn home with them.”
If this isn’t for you, Inner Connections also offers a complete list of massage, reiki, reflexology and other wellness treatments. For a complete list of packages, visit retreatinthecity.com
❧ 1149 Neil Ave., Columbus, 614/294-2849. victorianvillageguesthouse.comvictorianvillageguesthouse.com. $185 per night. Wellness packages start at $99.
Sauder Heritage Inn At Historic Sauder Village
For some, romance means slowing down, powering down and tuning in to each other without the built-in distractions of daily life. If this mirrors your image of the perfect getaway, Sauder Village in Archbold — where the simple things in life are the foundation of your experience — might be just what you need.
The living-history village was created nearly four decades ago by Erie Sauder, founder of the Sauder Woodworking Company, as a way to pay tribute to the area’s heritage. Today, the village, as well as the inn, shops and eateries that now surround it, are a self-contained getaway in the state’s northwestern corner.
Constructed in 2007, the 98-room Sauder Heritage Inn features an indoor pool, hot tub, oversized suites and a sprawling 25-foot-tall faux oak tree in the atrium that you have to see to believe. Book the Romantic Getaway Package, which includes a one-night stay at the inn plus all the comforts — most notably, comfort food. Homemade cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes and cookies from the on-site Doughbox Bakery make the complimentary continental breakfast anything but typical.
Your package also includes a $25 gift certificate for the adjacent Barn Restaurant, known for its home-style buffet of roast beef, mashed potatoes and other perfect winter meals, plus a customized gift basket filled with wine from nearby Stoney Ridge Winery (or a nonalcoholic beverage), and Stella Leona artisan chocolates, handmade by Nancy Bontrager, Erie Sauder’s granddaughter.
Although the living-history village is currently closed for the season, the village’s stores are open, and your first stop for an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink selection should be Lauber’s General Store. Filled to the rafters with electric and oil lamps, uncommon cookbooks, McGuffy Readers, nostalgic candy, tin cookie cutters, wind-up toys and old-fashioned ointments, you’ll find treasures from all eras here. Quilters and other fiber enthusiasts will enjoy the Threads of Tradition quilt shop, where more than 3,000 square feet of bolts, blocks, kits, patterns and anything else you could need to partake in this traditional art form awaits. And, of course, don’t miss the Sauder Store & Outlet — where you’ll find incredible deals on the company’s trademark ready-to-assemble furniture.
The best part? Even though this experience is about getting back to basics, they still let you book it online.
22611 St. Rte. 2, Archbold, 800/590-9755. saudervillage.com. Packages start at $146 for a one-night stay.
Prices and other details are subject to change. Please call or visit the web site for up-to-date information.
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